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Thursday, February 17, 2005

THE DEER LEASE

Yesterday I was sent to do a story about a crime that occurred on a deer lease. Now, of course, you know what a deer lease is. Who wouldn’t? It’s the kind of thing people are born knowing. It’s the kind of thing that is so fundamental to everyday life that you would have to be an absolute moron or completely closed off from society not to know what a deer lease is.

I don’t know what a deer lease is. Or at least I didn’t yesterday. Now that it has been explained to me, I’m only halfway sure what a deer lease is. But it took a good deal of work to gain my limited understanding.

My education came after I was foolhardy enough to ask the photographer I was working with, “What exactly is a deer lease?”

And he’s all, “You’re kidding, right Comedy Boy?”

“No.”

“How could you not know this?”

“I just don’t.”

“Listen to the words, you can’t just figure it out?”

“Are you going to tell me what a deer lease is, or are you going to make fun of me for the rest of this drive?”

“Come on, what does it sound like?”

“It sounds like a place you’d go to lease a deer, but that seems pretty unlikely!”

“Funny.”

“I’m serious. You asked what it sounded like. That’s what it sounds like. There! Now are you going to tell me what a deer lease is or what?”

Then he says it’s a piece of land that is owned by somebody who isn’t going to sell it, but you can buy hunting rights on it for a period of time. So to be clear, I ask my “friend,” “So if you lease it, you can come hunt on it, but you can’t develop the property or anything. Right?”

“Well, not really. My dad has a deer lease in Texas and he’s built a cabin on it. He actually dug up a natural spring and got indoor plumbing in the cabin.”

“Wow.”
“Then he built these elaborate tree house things. At first, they were no more than deer stands, but then he added…”

“Uh, excuse me, but…”

“Oh come on! Do you not know what deer stand is?”

“No! I’m from California and upstate New York! Why would I know this?”

“Well, what does it sound like?”

“It sounds like something you’d use to stand up the deer you’ve leased. Like a kickstand on a bike. Now shut up because I know that’s not what a deer stand is! Just tell me what it is and you can make fun of me afterwards.”

He said it was something you use to hide in a tree and wait to shoot a deer. Last winter someone was shot in Wisconsin in a deer stand, or because of a deer stand. I read that story, but wasn’t really so sure about the deer stand part of it. And unfortunately, the newspaper I was reading wasn’t able to mock me for my complete ignorance of hunting or fishing, or whatever happened on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour last year.

Next time: What is a "mudbug," and why should you care?

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